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Scout Badges at Work

Yesterday, at my office, I borrowed a QA engineer named Ben from another team so he could help us finish some testing on a large project. Our team has borrowed Ben several times in the past, and everyone is friendly with each other. I was teasing him by telling the other QA engineers to boss him around and give him lots of work to do. Ben replied that, because I was a Cub Scout den leader, that I was not allowed to practice slavery. I told him that, not only was slavery an accepted practice in Scouts, but that we actually have badges for it. I adapted the Webelos Handyman badge for use at work, and sent Ben this email.

P.S. Only software people who are familiar with scouts will think that this is funny - so not many, then. In fact, maybe just me. Everyone else just move along - nothing to see here.... 

Hi Ben,

You mentioned that, since I was a Scout leader, that I was not allowed to practice slavery if you help us test [name of software]. As I mentioned to you, the Boy Scouts of America has a long standing practice of slavery (also known as “Service Projects”), and in fact has badges for it. Here, for example, is the Handyman badge, which is quite easily adapted to [software] testing:


Do These:

1. With your parent, guardian, or Webelos den leader Scrum Master, complete the Responsibility Character Connection.

a. Know: List all the tasks you can think of that are necessary in keeping a household [software system] in good shape. Name the tasks that are your responsibility. Tell what it means to be responsible for these tasks.

b. Commit: Talk about what happens when people don't do their jobs. Tell why it is important to be helpful and to be responsible. List ways that you can be more responsible on your own.

c. Practice: Choose one of the requirements and show how you are responsible by doing that task well for two weeks.

And Do Six of These:

2. With adult supervision, wash a car run a test case.

3. Help an adult change a tire on a car determine repro steps for a bug.

4. With adult supervision, replace a bulb in the taillight, turn signal, or parking light or replace a headlight on a car enter a bug in [the bug tracking system].

5. With adult supervision, show how to check the oil level and tire pressure on a car verify that a bug has been fixed.

6. Make a repair to a bicycle, such as tightening the chain, fixing a flat tire, or adjusting the seat or handlebars test case for a major feature.

7. Properly lubricate the chain and crank on a bicycle estimate the time required to test a feature.

8. Properly inflate the tires on a bicycle reduce the hours remaining to test an item in [the tracking system].

9. Change the wheels on a skateboard or pair of inline skates Enter your time to the correct project in [the time card system].

10. Replace a light bulb in a fixture or lamp.

11. With adult supervision, arrange a storage area for household cleaners and other dangerous materials where small children cannot reach them review and add comments to a Design Phase Document (DPD).

12. Build a sawhorse or stool to be used around your home Sprint Task in [the tracking system] from scratch.

13. Help take care of the lawn.

14. Arrange a storage area for hand tools or lawn and garden tools test cases in [the document system].

15. Clean and properly store hand tools or lawn and garden tools in their storage area your laptop after a hard day’s work.

16. Label hand tools or lawn and garden tools new bugs with the correct sprint iteration in [the bug tracking system].

17. Put together a toolbox for common repairs around the house. Be sure the toolbox and tools are stored safely. an automated test that covers more than one test case.

By the way, thanks for helping us out. Again!


Tod Bookless
Scrum Master


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